Suspicious powder mailed to UN missions was flour

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A suspicious white powder that was mailed to several United Nations diplomatic offices, inlcuding the French mission, was nothing more than flour, New York police confirmed.

NEW YORK, November 11, 2009 (AFP) - "The substance was non-lethal, it was flour," Mindy Diaz, a police spokeswoman, told AFP.

Between Monday and Tuesday, packages containing the substance were sent to the offices of UN representatives from France, Austria, Uzbekistan, Germany and Britain, according to police.

Diaz said the offices of representatives from Russia and Lithuania had also received similar packages.

On Monday night, as a precautionary measure, New York City police carried out a "decontamination" of French, Austrian and Uzbek diplomats who had come into contact with the powder.

Police were then informed that similar packages had been received by the British and German missions to the United States.

On Wednesday, both the Russian and Lithuanian missions said they had also received mail containing a similar powder.

In 2001, five people died after receiving mail containing anthrax powder, provoking nationwide panic.


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